Looking to get better in touch with Long Island pop culture? For high school and college students, there’s no better time for exploring than the lazy days of summer.
OnCampus has identified 10 locations that inspired — or were featured in — major television shows, films, books and music videos. Check them out, and let us know if we’ve missed any.
Old Westbury Gardens
This home served as the inspiration for the Buchanans’ home in the 2013 film The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann. Other movies filmed here include North by Northwest (1959), The Age of Innocence (1993), American Gangster (2007), Cruel Intentions (1999) and Hitch (2005). Television programs shot here include Royal Pains, Pushing Daisies and Gossip Girl. The estate is open to the public. Guided tours of the mansion and grounds are available.
Although it is uncertain if Oheka Castle served as inspiration for Gatsby’s mansion in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel The Great Gatsby, the location is frequently referenced in pop culture. The castle portrayed Xanadu in the famous Orson Welles film Citizen Kane (1941). It is also featured in Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” music video. Oheka now serves as a hotel and wedding venue. Visitors can stay overnight or book a tour of the grounds.
The popular Netflix series created by the Duffer brothers, Stranger Things originally was set to take place in Montauk, rather than the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Montauk is a key setting for the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which starred Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey. A popular tourist destination, Montauk Point is at very tip of Long Island’s East End. Its lighthouse is a national landmark open to visitors during the summer, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
The scene of a gruesome murder involving a young man who murdered his parents and his three siblings, the supposedly “cursed” home was depicted in the Jay Anson novel “The Amityville Horror,” which spawned more than a dozen suspense and horror films.
In wake of the murders, another family moved into the home. This family reported signs of the paranormal and moved out after 28 days, subsequently telling their story to Anson. The majestic house still stands — as a private residence. You can view it all you want from the street, but historically visitors are not welcome inside.
Located in Farmingdale, this amusement park influenced the 2009 film of the same name. It was based on director Greg Mottola’s experiences while working part-time at Adventureland in the 1980s. This park has opened in 1962, and still has something for everyone — thrill rides, water rides, family rides, kid rides and more. The park hosts birthday parties and corporate events.
The Hamptons have provided the setting for many different films and TV shows over the years. More recently, scenes from Gossip Girl and Orange is the New Black have been recorded here. The Hamptons are home to many celebrities, including Beyonce, Robert Downey Jr., Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg, Christie Brinkley and Calvin Klein. This area of Long Island holds many beaches and shops to explore.
The village of Valley Stream served as the filming location for the 2018 Netflix TV mini-series Maniac. The TV show Elementary and the film Goodfellas (1990) also include scenes shot in Valley Stream. Valley Stream was home to actor Steve Buscemi and comedian Larry Miller.
This Bethpage sound stage has hosted a number of live broadcasts and films — including such movies as The Avengers (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2012), and such live plays as Peter Pan Live! (2014), The Wiz Live (2015) and The Sound of Music Live (2013). The studio holds eight sound stages at 155,000 square feet per stage.
Long Beach served as the filming location for the TV show Royal Pains and the famous Francis Ford Coppola film The Godfather (1972) among other movies. Long Beach’s iconic boardwalk spans 2.2 miles.
On the history front, Oyster Bay is home to Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, which during President Theodore Roosevelt’s time in office was known as his “Summer White House.”
Tours of the home and grounds are available.